Nigeria Wildlife and Economy
Animals and Plants
Which animals live in Nigeria?
Nigeria includes several zones of different landscapes. Climatically, one differentiates between the hot-humid south and the hot-dry north. It depends on which animals and plants live here.
Elephants, buffalos, giraffes and leopards only live in selected protection zones in Nigeria. Nile crocodiles and hippos can be seen a little more often. Eight national parks and many other protected areas were set up to protect the animals.
Some species of monkeys are endangered. One of them is the Cross River Gorilla, which lives in the border region between Nigeria and Cameroon. It is named after the Cross River on which it lives. To protect him and other rare species of monkey, the Cross River National Park was established. It is located in the southeast of Nigeria.
Several species of monkeys can only be found in Nigeria. The Niger Delta colobus monkey lives in the western Niger Delta, near the coast in the marsh forest. Its population is considered to be endangered because it was hunted and people cut down its habitat.
The Nigerian blue-mouthed monkey is also endangered. She wears cute tufts of white hair! You can see them on the right in the picture. She lives in the south, east of the Niger River.
In the southwest, up to the border with Benin and beyond, the red-bellied monkey is at home. She has a white beard and a red belly. Unfortunately, it is also almost extinct.
Chimpanzees can still be found in several countries, but in Nigeria they only live in small areas and in a subspecies that is otherwise only found in Cameroon.
Bushbuck (an antelope), warthogs, steppe monitors and anubis baboons are widespread.
In addition, 1000 species of butterflies flutter in Nigeria, and many fish live in rivers, lakes and in the sea off the coast.
Birds are also abundant. They include, for example, the saddle stork, the helmeted guinea fowl, the hornbill gray toco, the secretary and the cattle egret. The Buntkopf rockhopper lives in an area in the southeast.
What is growing in Nigeria?
Mangrove forests grow on the coast. There are lagoons and many rivers. Overall it is swampy and very humid here.
Further north there was tropical rainforest. Unfortunately, it was almost completely cut down. The wood of the trees was sold and at the same time land was gained to farm. Mainly oil palms were grown here. The landscape of the former tropical rainforest makes up 20 percent of the country’s area.
Further north the landscape is getting drier. She is a savannah here. It makes up a large part of the Nigerian landscape (70 percent). At first it is a wet savannah. Grasses up to six meters high grow here, but there are also trees that turn into a forest in some places. Trees also grow on the rivers, the gallery forests. You can find the khaya tree (African mahogany), Afzelia africana, Isoberlinia doka and Burkea africana.
In the far north, the landscape becomes a dry savannah. It rains even less here. The grasses are not even two meters high, there are only a few trees.
In the northeast, a small area of Nigeria belongs to the Sahel zone. Acacias, for example, grow here.
Nigeria is the country in Africa with the greatest economic power. This is measured in terms of gross domestic product, the total value of all goods in a country. Economic centers are the cities of Lagos and Port Harcourt in the south, Abuja in the middle and Kano in the north. The south is economically much stronger than the north. The country’s oil deposits are also located there.
Petroleum and diamonds
Nigeria’s most important economic asset is oil. It is mainly extracted in the Niger Delta – which, however, has also led to the landscape here being heavily polluted and with it water, air and food. Nigeria ranks 12th in world funding. Almost 90 percent of the income from exports comes from oil. The share of crude oil is 12 percent of the gross domestic product. However, only 7 percent of the population work in this area. So few people make a lot. Nigeria is a member of OPEC. For more articles on Nigeria and Africa, please visit ethnicityology.
When diamonds were discovered in southern Nigeria in 1999, mining of this valuable mineral began. Nigeria became the fourth largest seller of diamonds in Africa (after South Africa, Namibia and Sierra Leone). Other important natural resources in Nigeria are natural gas and hard coal.
Because the economy was geared towards oil, agriculture was severely neglected. In the meantime, Nigeria has even had to import food for several years, i.e. buy it from other countries.
Much of agriculture consists of cultivation for personal consumption or for sale by the roadside and in the market. Manioc, millet, yams and sweet potatoes are especially grown for personal use. Beans, melons, pineapple and pepper are also part of it.
Above all, cocoa, rubber, peanuts, palm oil and corn are grown for sale abroad. For cassava in Nigeria, is the world’s largest producer, cocoa now the fourth largest for plantains fifth largest. Nigeria is the largest producer of cowpeas and yams in Africa. Large plantations are mostly owned by the state or by foreign companies.
Many smallholders keep chickens, goats and sheep. Cattle are kept to a greater extent, followed at a greater distance by pigs.
70 percent of the population works in agriculture, in rural areas the proportion is even higher.
Problems and opportunities
A major problem is the dependence on oil. If oil prices fall, the economy also suffers. Corruption is widespread. There is not enough electricity. The transport routes are outdated. Although the country is doing very well economically compared to other African countries, a large part of the population lives below the poverty line. The growing industries are tourism, finance and film.